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Senator-elect Panfilo Lacson also has a tough guy image when dealing with criminals. But Lacson recently said he could not countenance Duterte’s earlier statements planning to give out shoot-to-kill order to private citizens against
suspected drug dealers and monetary reward in the process.
Duterte’s remark asking individuals to help the government arrest suspected drug dealers and shoot them if they resist could lead to a more dangerous problem such as a breakdown in law and order, Lacson said.
Lacson served as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and later of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) during the time of former President Joseph Estrada which was tagged for the controversial Kuratong-Baleleng case and the Dacer-Orbito double murder case, among others. This was how AOCTF head, Lacson earned his “killer” reputation.
Duterte, on the other hand, is suspected of being involved with the vigilante outfit Davao Death Squad as long time Davao City mayor. For this he was “The Punisher” to many and had been duly criticized by human rights groups for tolerating extrajudicial killings of alleged criminals.
Lacson said while the law allows citizen’s arrests in certain instances, ordinary citizens have no proper training to deal with criminals.
Lacson also cautioned Duterte against making blanket accusations against corrupt military officers, indicating that this could backfire politically on the incoming administration later on. It was noted that coup attempts hounded the administration of the late President Cory Aquino after she made enemies of military officials, including then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile.
Earlier, Duterte accused three police generals of involvement in illegal drugs and publicly asked the three not to wait for his formal installa6ion as president and resign this early to prevent from being publicly humiliated.
Lacson urged Duterte to check if the basis for his accusations against the three corrupt police generals came from verified or validated intelligence reports. Lacson said: “It’s unfair if they are not even given a chance to defend themselves in a fair investigation. What if the information about their alleged involvement is given by someone like Ador Mawanay or a certain Rosebud who were paid to bring down their reputation? What if the report he got is from somebody like ISAFP Chief Victor Corpus who was willing to be used just to achieve his ambition?”
He added: “I pity the police officials who would be shamed and humiliated, together with their family, or worse, could be killed by individuals who have ulterior motive and a personal agenda in order to please or ingratiate themselves to the president of the country. I tell you, I can speak from experience.”
“I believe it is not right for an incoming president of the country to encourage the public to take it upon themselves to arrest and kill suspected drug lords because law enforcement authorities might lose control of the situation,” Lacson explained.
Lacson suggested that private citizens should be encouraged instead to report to authorities the presence of drug pushers and big time drug lords, and that is where the incentive of monetary reward should come into play.
Like Duterte, Lacson did not attend his proclamation last week as fourth-place winner among the 12 elected senators in the May 9 elections. (Daniel Llanto)